Future food production depends on the success of small-holder farmers. Conventional farming methods are resource-intensive and further contribute to climate change. In order to secure our future, we need to shift to more sustainable farming methods. However, this transition is risky, especially for small-holder farmers who are unable to manage this risk. FarmAware is a big data platform that provides a “live view” of agricultural production and brand new analysis, insights, and visibility. This will empower stakeholders working to help farmers transition drive better business decisions and mitigate their risk. We are drowning in information - but starving for wisdom. FarmAware will change that.
With the population growing to 9.6 billion people by 2050, the demand for food will grow by 70%, but this is at risk due to the uncertainty that climate change impacts.
The most vulnerable are those 1.5 billion smallholder households, who produce 80% of of food consumed in the developing world under conventional practices that are failing.
The global challenge is to figure out how to shift these practices to more sustainable ones and facilitate the transition which is a very risky process because it requires loans, need for new practices and skills, as well as lower yields.
Why this necessary transition hasn’t happened yet, and how might we help smallholder farmers to do so? It seems that most initiatives that tried to address this problem failed because they did not take into consideration the longterm collaboration between various stakeholders involved, which highly relies on taking the mitigation aspect of involved risks into consideration.
The solution is an online platform using big data to help farmers transition to more sustainable practices. This includes the collection and use of big data coming directly from the farm level, which translates to new insight into the correlation between farm yield and weather conditions.
This allows predicting:
- Future yields under changing weather conditions
- The amount of rice produced in a certain period
- Predicting general price changes in rice as a commodity to determine best timing for trading. (Combined with price and stock levels of rice)
The above will offer new opportunities for the farmers to commit to the transition process, as well as those partners interested in creating these opportunities for them.
Farmer communities, cooperatives, community banks, insurance companies, buyers.
Most agricultural risks can only be mitigated by the effective and concerted action of a collection of relevant stakeholders.
Farmers are directly concerned about the rising risks as they experience it every day. These risks create new opportunities.
The key innovation in our solution is that it provides a shift away from the traditional approaches to these problems, and offering value for multiple stakeholders on a long-term opportunity.
Previous similar initiatives were focusing on only data collection for increasing the productivity of the farmers, or creating a platform for collaboration across various stakeholders. But for example, when a disaster hit the farm site, these initiatives failed because they did not consider that type of risky scenario.
The innovation includes bringing together farmers around a smart way of farming, incentivizing data collection through a full eco-system of partners and beneficiaries
This type of solution has not been successful before because the farmer has not been the core focus of the ecosystem.
The farmer will always be the weakest link and actor in the chain, and when collaboration falters they are the biggest losers.
The impact for farmers is a better reliance for unpredictable event disrupting their livelihood by promoting more sustainable farming practices. This will contribute to the progress of various SDGs.
1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
5.B Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water‐use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering
from water scarcity
12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and
efficient use of natural resources
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.